The Advent Wreath – O Little Town…

One of my family’s favorite Christmas traditions is the Advent wreath. On each of the four Sundays in Advent (the four weeks before Christmas), our family gathers around the wreath with cookies and eggnog and hot chocolate. Not only is this cozy family time, but it focuses us with joyful anticipation on the birth of Jesus.

This Sunday, December 5, is the second Sunday in Advent, but it’s never too late to participate. If you’d like to join the Sundin family in this tradition, here are some family friendly, kid-tested ideas. Adjust these to the ages of any children present to create a meaningful time for your family.

Advent Week Two – The Bethlehem Candle

Candles: Light the first purple candle (the Prophets’ Candle) and the second purple candle (the Bethlehem Candle) as shown. The purple symbolizes penance. Traditionally, the older children light these candles, but use your judgment.

Story: Explain how the prophets foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem of the family of David. Joseph and Mary came to the little town, which was crowded with visitors for the census, and the only place for them to stay was in a dark stable.

Micah 5:2 (the prophecy that Messiah would be born in Bethlehem)
Luke 2:1-7 (how Jesus came to be born in Bethelehem)
Matthew 2:1-11 (the Magi come looking for Messiah; the Jewish leaders tell Herod of the Bethlehem prophecy)

“O Little Town of Bethlehem”
“Silent Night”
“Away in a Manger”
“We Three Kings”

During this hectic holiday season, may you find stillness and peace with the Child of Bethlehem.

3 Responses to “The Advent Wreath – O Little Town…”

  1. Karen Barnett

    We started doing this last year and my kids loved it. It really helped us focus on what was truly important and gave us some good “family” time each week. My daughter loved it so much that she would beg me to leave the candles lit when we were done and then she would gather her stuffed animals around the table and repeat the lesson/discussion/songs with them. I snapped a photo and it will be a treasured memory for me.

  2. Valerie

    I love this season of Advent, and the anticipation that comes with it. A few years ago, we needed some new Advent candles and couldn’t find them anywhere. Finally, we tried our local hardware store. As my daughter and I waited for the next available clerk to help us, we hoped it would be a kind looking older woman and not the rather scary looking guy with the tattoos and multiple piercings. But that’s who we got. As he picked up the first candle to scan the price, he said “Oh, it’s the Advent season again! I love this time of year!” My heart was warmed and my lesson in humility was learned.

  3. Sarah Sundin

    Karen – that is so sweet! My kids look forward to the wreath too – and really get on my case if we run behind 🙂
    Valerie – what a great story! Don’t you just love it when God smashes our stereotypes.